Education Labour

Media release: NSTU asks Minister to reconsider cuts at Nova Scotia’s largest schools

(Halifax, NS) The NSTU is calling on the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, Derek Mombourquette, to reconsider cuts targeted at Halifax area high schools for next year. The union representing Nova Scotia’s 9,000 teachers also wants the full breakdown of cuts released to the public.

“Given everything students and their families have been through since the beginning of this pandemic, the government should be increasing supports for students wherever possible, not making deep cuts to individual schools,” says Wozney. “Taking almost 70 teachers out of our province’s most populated schools will only make it more challenging to meet the diverse and complex needs of students.”

The reduction of teaching positions at Halifax areas schools is largely because the HRCE is eliminating Unassigned Instructional Time (UIT), used to support individual student and school safety needs. Wozney says parents and school communities deserve transparency about the scope and impact of these cuts.

“The HRCE has tried to downplay this decision, suggesting it’s nothing more than a routine numbers game, which completely disregards the dedication and passion the impacted teachers have for their students and their schools,” says Wozney. “When you take teachers out of a school it limits the number and quality of subjects that can be offered. It means fewer coaches and mentors to support student athletes and artists and less extra help for students that are struggling. It also means fewer adults in hallways to prevent bullying and ensure safety protocols are being followed. This is a huge loss for the students attending these schools next year, there’s no other way to put it. Parents deserve the full details so they can advocate on behalf of their children.”

The NSTU has been raising concerns for weeks regarding a possible cut to UIT in Halifax area schools and conducted a survey of teachers to determine the impact such a decision would have. The results of the survey clearly demonstrated the need, especially during the pandemic, for this essential school resource. The results have been shared with the HRCE.

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